The administration's next move in its monthslong review of its Iran policy was expected later Thursday, when President Donald Trump faced a deadline to decide on extending waivers that allow Iran to conduct much of its global commerce.
Conversely, the U.S. could be seen as having violated a deal that was working, and the Iranians will feel free to resume their nuclear activities.
The agreement among six world powers - Russia, China, France, Germany, Britain and the U.S. - and Iran was supported by former U.S. President Barack Obama. In fact, Trump certified to Congress that Iran is in compliance with the deal two times. They zeroed in on one section - Section T in Annex 1 - that deals with verifying that Iran hasn't acquired "dual use" technology that could serve either a peaceful nuclear objective or weapons development.
Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, last week laid out a scenario under which Trump would keep the U.S.in the deal but refuse to certify Iran's compliance with it, kicking the problem to Congress and forcing it to decide whether to reimpose sanctions that were eased under the agreement.
Opponents of the Iran nuclear deal are pushing a proposal that calls for President Donald Trump to declare Tehran has failed to comply with the agreement and to threaten a unprecedented economic embargo created to rattle the regime.
Johnson said there are two sides to the deal: The Islamic Republic behaving itself, and the US and the others ensuring Iran enjoys economic benefits.
"If it was up to me, I would have had them noncompliant 180 days ago", Trump told The Wall Street Journal in July. "They've violated so many different elements and they've also violated the spirit of that deal", Trump said. Those, however, aren't specifically covered in the nuclear agreement.
Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief, has voiced strong support for the deal with Iran, saying it represented "the European way to foreign policy".
Iran rejects that it has broken the agreement. The three-month recertification deadlines determine the status of sanction relief under the agreement.
"Unfortunately, both the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and our national intelligence assets are likely missing significant Iranian facilities (perhaps operated jointly in North Korea) that continue to pursue threatening activities", Bolton wrote in an op-ed entitled "Iran Deal Devotees Try in Vain to Save a Sinking Ship".
"More than 80 nuclear-nonproliferation experts signed a letter to the Trump administration Wednesday, urging him to stay in the Iran agreement, which they called "effective and verifiable" and an "important success", the full implementation of which is critical to worldwide peace and security".
That's produced a search for new options before the October 15 deadline under a law requiring the president to certify every 90 days that Iran is complying with the accord.
If the White House decides not to waive the sanctions this week, that could throw the deal in doubt immediately.
"Access under the Additional Protocol will be used by the IAEA to verify at undeclared sites that no unapproved nuclear activity is occurring".
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